ED 432 Assignment: Photography & Graphics

Assignment: Take 6 well-composed photographs and prepare them for 3 different uses: for prints, computer viewing, and posting to the web.

After reading up on various aspects of “iPhoneography” (iPhone photography), I took my iPhone 4S to the library to take my photographs. I specifically chose to use my iPhone for this assignment because I wanted to become more familiar with taking quality photographs with a tool I always have on hand. I would also like to better understand how such tools can be used in assignments I give my students. My iPhone camera is 8mp with a fixed aperture of f/2.4 and an LED flash (though I did not use it for any of my pictures).

I took the pictures within the Camera Awesome app. This app has a grid for easy application of the rule of thirds, a level to keep your images square, image stabilization to reduce blurriness, and some advanced focusing options. All but the grid are absent from the pre-installed, standard iPhone camera app.

After taking the pictures, I used the Adobe.Photoshop.Express app to manipulate my photos. I could not identify an option to change the compression within that app so I then transferred the images requiring compression to Microsoft Office Picture Manager on my computer.

Title: Passing Pendulum
Subject: The Northernmost Foucault Pendulum housed in the Consortium Library
ISO: 50
Shutter speed: 1/20 sec.
Aperture: f/2.4
Size: 2.1 mb, 2039×2853 pixels, sufficient quality for a 5×7 inch print
Manipulations & filters: In order to make the pendulum appear more gold and the make the greens bolder as they are when viewed in person, I selected a slightly warmer color temperature (+5 of 100). I also rotated the image slightly because I didn’t like the angle of the lines in my original photograph.

The Consortium Library's Foucault Pendulum
Passing Pendulum (The Northernmost Foucault Pendulum housed in the Consortium Library.)

 

Title: They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To
Subject: A stack of classics with fancy gold-embossed edges and covers pulled from the shelves at the Consortium Library.
ISO: 125
Shutter speed: 1/20 sec.
Aperture: f/2.4
Size: 1.68 mb, 2448×3060 pixels, sufficient quality for a 5×7 inch print (nearly enough for an 8×10)
Manipulations & filters: The colors were a bit washed out in the original so I added contrast (+50 of 100) and reduced the exposure (-10).

They Don't Make Them Like They Used To (A stack of classics.)
They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To (A stack of classics.)

 

Title: The Stacks
Subject: A book with shelves upon shelves of library books in the background.
ISO: 200
Shutter speed: 1/20 sec.
Aperture: f/2.4
Size: 209 kb, 1024×768 pixels, sufficient quality for images viewed on a computer screen, 4:3 aspect ratio (native size for iPhone pictures)
Manipulations & filters: The colors were washed out in the original so I added contrast (+40 of 100) and reduced the exposure (-10). I then compressed the image to its current size.

The Stacks (A stack of books with the stacks -- another word for book shelves -- in the background.)
The Stacks (A stack of books with the stacks — another word for book shelves — in the background.)

 

Title: The Beginning
Subject: The beginning of the history wall ribbon where it wraps around the mesh-covered center pillar on the 3rd floor of the Consortium Library.
ISO: 64
Shutter speed: 1/20 sec.
Aperture: f/2.4
Size: 192kb, 1024×768 pixels, sufficient quality for images viewed on a computer screen, 4:3 aspect ratio (native size for iPhone pictures)
Manipulations & filters: For this image, I selected a pre-made filter called “vibrant.” The colors of the original were washed out and this filter added the perfect settings in an instant. I then compressed the image to its current size.

The Beginning (The beginning of the history wall ribbon.)
The Beginning (The beginning of the history wall ribbon.)

 

Title: Gov. Docs.
Subject: A collection of U.S. Congressional records located in the Government Documents section of the Consortium Library.
ISO: 50
Shutter speed: 1/20 sec.
Aperture: f/2.4
Size: 30.2kb, 448×336 pixels, sufficient quality for web images, 4:3 aspect ratio (native size for iPhone pictures)
Manipulations & filters: This image was quite dismal originally. I added contrast (+70), warmed the temperature slightly (+5), and added vibrance (+40). I then compressed the image to its current size.

Gov. Docs.
Gov. Docs. (Congressional records located in the Government Documents section of the Consortium Library.)

 

Title: Rock Wall
Subject: A portion of the large rock wall that surrounds the Consortium Library’s spiral staircase.
ISO: 320
Shutter speed: 1/20 sec.
Aperture: f/2.4
Size: 42.9kb, 448×336 pixels, sufficient quality for web posting, 4:3 aspect ratio (native size for iPhone pictures)
Manipulations & filters: The original image needed additional detail and contrast. I added reduced exposure (-20), emphasized highlights (+10) and shadows (+10), and added vibrance (+10). I then compressed the image to its current size.

Rock Wall (The large rock wall surrounding the central spiral staircase.)
Rock Wall (The large rock wall surrounding the central spiral staircase.)

The following images were edited out of the above set because they did not clearly speak to the Consortium Library theme. However, I love them so much I wanted to share! All were taken with Camera Awesome and manipulated using pre-set filters in the Aviary app. All have an aperture of f/2.4.

Reflections on Literature
Reflections on Literature (ISO 250, shutter speed 1/20)
Aqua
Aqua (ISO 160, shutter speed 1/20)
Flying South
Flying South (ISO 50, shutter speed 1/40)
Circles
Circles (ISO 80, shutter speed 1/20)

Resources used:

http://www.apple.com/iphone-4s/specs/

http://lifeinlofi.com/2010/08/25/iphone-photo-prints-how-big-can-you-go/

Micheletti, A. (2010). iPhone Photography and Video For Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Roberts, S. C. (2011). The Art of iPhoneography. New York: Pixiq.

Thomas, J. D. (2011). Capturing Better Photos and Videos with your iPhone. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley.

6 thoughts on “ED 432 Assignment: Photography & Graphics

  1. I am so impressed you took these with your iPhone. You definitely have an eye for photography. I love the movement in the first one. My other favorites are the congress books, the rock wall, the paper cranes and the tiles. I love the lines on the tiles. Nice…

  2. D’Arcy, here are a few comments, for what they’re worth. Passing Pendulum: fascinating arrangement of use of “contrast”-meaning the pendulum is obviously in motion and the inlay lines are really crisp. This one’s my favorite. They Don’t Make Them: the shot forced my eyes to concentrate on the gold and obviously explains the title. The colors really popped with the background you used. The Stacks: excellent use of lines and bokeh. Very interesting contrast in the background and foreground. Labels on the book bottoms also add interest. The Beginning-this one really capture my attention, too. The smooth gold and the textured black are in extreme contrast. Makes me want to see the entire wall ribbon. Gov. Docs.-who knew congressional documents could be interesting? Very effective use of lines and bokeh. You put the iPhone’s f/2.4 to good use. I realize there have been some comments on the “dullness” of the colors but, to my eyes, I could “appreciate” the text a little more. Rock Wall-fascinating shot of a pile of bricks. You were really successful in capturing both subtle color shades and variations of a single shape. Job well done.

    Thank you for including the “extra” photos. What an interesting eye on the world. The one that really caught my eye was the line of butterflies(?)-both the color and depth of field worked really well.

    Thanks, too, for including the links. I’m guessing we’ve all learned something about photography! You might give these apps a look: Camera+ and Aviary.

  3. Hi D’Arcy,

    Great photos! It’s interesting to see library photos from another perspective. Your third photo, “The Stacks” really stuck out to me. I think the blurry background helps to emphasize the books in the foreground and, in my opinion, you used just the right amount of contrast. I also enjoyed the “Gov. Docs” photo because I think it’s a unique feature of libraries that a lot of people don’t know about. The fact that you took it on an angle to show some depth worked out well, but I wish it had been more visually stimulating – maybe more color? Although, that’s not really in your control. Overall, I really enjoyed your photo set.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Liz! You are right about the dullness of the Gov Docs image. One thing I like about the drab color is that it’s real — there is a lot of bland color in that section, including big sections of identical, bland-colored books like this one. In fact, the actual books appear even more drab in person than they do in the pic! BUT I hope to show that there are some real research treasures hiding in the drabness. I think most people would be surprised to learn we have these.

  4. Hi D’Arcy,
    You really took some fantastic photos with your iPhone! My favorite of the themed photos is the “They Don’t Make Them Like They Used To” photo. The rich colors and lines are great. I appreciate the rule of thirds use in both the books and the lines of the background. With respect to “The Beginning” photo, I am not sure I understand it. Perhaps because I have not seen this history wall ribbon before, I am having trouble with perspective or making sense of it. I wonder if it would be possible to have a larger section of the wall presented for context and perspective, and then have this photo serve as the focal point/featured image. I hope that makes sense. One last comment. Your “Circles” photo is really something special. I enjoy the circles on the surface where the rubber-band ball is sitting as well as the circles created by the rubber bands. Great photo!

    p.s. Thanks for the feedback on my photos. I have posted a reply on my site: charlesdcaster.weebly.com

    • Thanks for the feedback!

      The Consortium Library website has a photo gallery where you can view the ribbon/history wall from farther away. I have included the link directly to it at the bottom of this comment. The part I photographed is on the back side of the central pillar. Note that I was going for an artistic shot with this one that could be used either as a decorative image (something that looks cool) or as part of a library building photo scavenger hunt. In that sense, I don’t know that there is anything to understand about it beyond it being visually interesting or unexpected (if you find it to be so). 🙂

      I appreciate that you appreciate “circles.” It is my favorite shot of all of them! It’s so dynamic while being so simple. Did you notice that the red-on-red fabric appears in several different variations (at least 4 distinct ones) in this single shot? Dark on light on the left side, light on dark upper right, light on even darker lower right, and the in-between areas that the shades of red are barely distinguishable.

      Sorry it’s a long address… http://consortiumlibrary.org/modx/assets/components/gallery/connector.php?action=web/phpthumb&w=500&h=500&zc=0&far=&q=90&src=%2Fmodx%2Fassets%2Fcomponents%2Fgallery%2Ffiles%2F26%2F714.jpg

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